Task Force on Military and Veterans Affairs Agenda and Presentations | 2017 NCSL Capitol Forum


NCSL Capitol forum logo.The Task Force on Military and Veterans Affairs met on Dec. 11-13, 2017 in conjunction with NCSL's Capitol Forum. The meeting was held at the Hotel del Coronado. 

The task force was created in 2007 to address issues affecting military-community relations and the health and well-being of veterans. The task force consists of 53 state legislators and legislative staff from 32 states. 

The Task Force on Military and Veterans Affairs was created in 2007 to examine issues affecting military-community relations and the health and well-being of service members, veterans and their families. Membership includes 54 legislators and legislative staff representing 32 states. The task force is co-chaired by Representative Tina Orwall (D-WA) and Representative Dan Saddler (R-AK). More information can be found here

Monday, Dec. 11, 2017

The Arts and Well-Being Across the Military Continuum


  • Jay Dick, Americans for the Arts, District of Columbia


  • Paul Sargent, U.S. Navy, California | No Presentation
  • Rebecca Vaudreuil, National Endowment for the Arts Creative Forces Military Healing Arts Network | No Presentation
  • Deborah Good, art therapist, New Mexico | No Presentation

Occupational Licensing: State Actions Reducing Barriers to Work

NCSL’s Disability Employment Project Update

Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017

Aerospace & Education: The New Economy | NCSL Labor & Economic Development Committee Session

TOUR: U.S. Navy SEAL Training Facility, Naval Base Coronado

Members of the Task Force on Military and Veterans Affairs toured the nearby Naval Base in Coronado, home of Naval Surface Forces Pacific and the Naval Special Warfare Command. Participants toured the facilities that host rigorous training for U.S. Navy SEALs and heard from active duty SEALs about their unique mission. Participants also met headquarters staff from the U.S. Navy and the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017

Task Force on Military and Veterans Affairs Meeting

NCSL gratefully acknowledges the following sponsors for their support: Department of Defense, Northrop Grumman, Starbucks and the Foundation for State Legislatures.

Opening Remarks by Task Force Co-Chairs 

  • Representative Tina Orwall (D), Washington 
  • Representative Dan Saddler (R), Alaska

Pledge of Allegiance and Introductions

Employing Veterans and Military Families


  • Representative Tina Orwall, Washington

Many veterans struggle with the transition to civilian life, particularly employment. Skills translation, self-marketing and employer concerns all play a role. Military spouses also face significant challenges finding work, due in large part to frequent moves between states.


  • Christopher Schmidt, manager, Veterans and Military Affairs, Starbucks Coffee Company | No Presentation
  • Amy Jerome, senior director, Community Development and Programs, Blue Star Families, Encinitas, CA | No Presentation


  • Lacey Price, Army daughter/district manager, Starbucks Coffee Company | No Presentation
  • George Page, USMC (ret.)/store manager, Starbucks Coffee Company | No Presentation

Spotlight: California Veterans Programs


  • Representative Dan Saddler, Alaska

California is home to more than one million military veterans. This session will highlight state legislative and executive agency efforts to serve this large population.


  • Senator Josh Newman, chair, California Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs | No Presentation
  • Vito Imbasciani, secretary, California Department of Veterans Affairs | Presentation

Military Suicide Prevention

This session explored a unique partnership in Washington State between suicide prevention advocates and the firearms industry.


  • Representative Tina Orwall, Washington


  • Peter G. Schmidt, Psy. D., LMHC, Behavioral Health program director, Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs | No Presentation
  • Jennifer Stuber, Ph.D, associate professor, University of Washington School of Social Work, and faculty and policy director, Forefront: Innovation in Suicide Prevention | No Presentation
  • Alan Gottlieb, founder, Second Amendment Foundation | No Presentation

U.S. Strategic Defense Priorities


  • Representative Dan Saddler, Alaska

This session provided an overview of the U.S. missile defense system, especially the 44 ground-based interceptors located at Fort Greely, Alaska and Vandenberg Air Force Base, California that have the capability to destroy limited intermediate and long-range ballistic missile threats in space.


  • LTC Mark Kiraly, executive officer, 100th Missile Defense Brigade, Colorado Springs, CO | Presentation

Task Force Adjourns

The next meeting of the Military and Veterans Affairs Task Force will be held in conjunction with the NCSL Legislative Summit in Los Angeles, California from July 30-Aug. 2, 2018.